The story of a forgotten America.

Eastern Kentucky Railway

The Eastern Kentucky Railway (EK) was a 36 mile railroad in northeastern Kentucky that connected Riverton to Webbville.

The Eastern Kentucky Railway (EK) was a 36 mile railroad in northeastern Kentucky that connected Riverton to Webbville. Serving several mines and early pig-iron blast furnaces, the railroad was abandoned in 1933 during the height of the Great Depression.

From Riverton (now Greenup), the line followed Town Branch before entering the Little Sandy River Valley. It passed through two tunnels, both of which have collapsed, before approaching Argillite and the third tunnel. The tunnel has remained intact although the northern portal has been sealed by a small landslide. South of Argillite, the EK followed Cane Creek. After the railroad’s abandonment, State Route 207 was built upon the old right-of-way. A railroad shop was built at Hunnewell across the tracks from the Hunnewell Furnace. From there, the railroad turned west and tunneled under a ridge to Hopewell, where it turned south and followed the Little Sandy River.

The EK passed through Grayson and turned southeast towards Hitchins via today’s State Route 773. From Hitchins, the EK proceeded south along the Little Fork of the Little Sandy River. A bridge near Johns Run, which was reused for State Route 1, was later abandoned.

The ride from Johns Run south to Willard and Webbville was short. Grading is the only evidence of the railroad’s existence remaining today.

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